Showing posts from September, 2015

Desert Center

The signs along Interstate 10 telling me the distance to "Desert Center" gave me the impression that there was civilization and facilities for motorists between me and Indio.

I exited the highway at Desert Center, California and found remnants from the past. I found no fuel. I found no food. I didn't even find the cold drink I was hoping to find. The only thing this place may be the center of is desert. Except for a US Post Office and what appears to be a California Department of Transportation equipment lot, the place appeared to be abandoned.

There are no services here -- unless you need to mail some desert sand or a tumbleweed back home.

Desert Highway

El Charro Café

Chi... Chi... Chimichanga!

If you want to taste Tucson, visit the El Charro Café. The restaurant has been serving Mexican food in Tucson, Arizona since 1922, and is credited by some to be the home of the original chimichanga.

According to the legend, El Charro Café's founding owner and chef, Tia Monica Flin, accidentally dropped a burro into a pan of hot oil and when the oil splashed up, she started to respond with "[expletive redacted]" but quickly changed it "Chimichanga" so as to not swear in front of her nieces and nephews.

Regardless of how and where the chimichanga came to be, El Charro serves up awesome chimichangas.

The grilled carne asada chimichanga contains a perfect blend of steak, bacon, avocado, onion, green chile, cheese, and salsa.

Texas Canyon Rest Stop

About 16 miles northeast of Benson, along Interstate 10, is perhaps the busiest highway rest stop in Arizona. 

The rest stop is in the midst of the giant granite boulders of Texas Canyon. Rumor has it that locals name the are Texas Canyon after "a bunch of damned Texans" settled there in the 1880s. Those damned Texans, whose descendants still ranch in the area, aren't the reason travelers stop here. People stop to see and explore the giant granite boulders that litter the area.

If you are passing through Texas Canyon on Interstate 10: stop, walk around, see the rocks, and take a selfie.



Oh, and don't eat the snakes and insects that inhabit the area. They might be poisonous.

Or maybe the maker of this sign fails to understand the difference between poisonous and venomous. Also, scorpions aren't insects.  Nevertheless, beware of wildlife that might harm you.

Apple Annie's Produce & Pumpkins

Pick a pepper.

Apple Annie's Produce & Pumpkins is a 125-acre farm near Willcox, Arizona. The farm offers pre-picked and you-pick vegetables throughout the harvest season: July through October. Over the years (I first visited this farm nearly 20 years ago) they have become a premiere agritourism destination in southeastern Arizona. Bring the kids. See the farm. Pick some delicious vegetables. Experience Apple Annie's farm.


Horses enjoying a beautiful day.

Apple Annie's Orchard

A is for Annie. Annie's is for Apples.

Apple Annie's Orchard has been offering pick-your-own fruit and family fun in the Sulphur Springs Valley of Southeastern Arizona since 1986. Their thousands of trees produce a variety of apples, pears, and peaches. Pick some fruit and fun.

Kneeling Cow

The Thing?

The Thing?

In 1980-something, as I looked out the windows of a Continental Trailways bus crossing the country on Interstate 10, I saw huge yellow billboards promoting "The Thing?". These billboards seemed to go on for hundreds of miles. 

Those billboards are no longer as plentiful as I remember, but they still tempt travelers with a two word question: "The Thing?". I don't think one can get much more ambiguous than that. There is a thing in the desert. Stop and see it. What is this Thing in the desert? This reminds me of a high-school English teacher telling me "there are no such things as things and stuff". She wasn't a marketing person. ;)

The Thing?

The question begs an answer.

If countless miles of highway littered with "The Thing?" billboards don't entice travelers to stop, the proprietors have added fuel and Dairy Queen as additional temptations.

Inside the building is a gift shop that is much like many other roadside trading posts.

Between displays of cowboy hats and fireworks is the entrance to "The Thing?". We paid our $1 per adult admission fee and followed the yellow footprints as instructed by the cashier.

The footprints led us to perhaps one of the strangest and hokiest museums ever.

After viewing bizarre yet fun exhibits in the first couple buildings, we come to the one holding The Thing? ...

What is this thing thing?

It's a wonder!

Is it a wonder that I paid one whole dollar to see The Thing? If you want to see it, you'll have to go visit and spend your own dollar. We certainly got more than a dollar's worth of fun seeing The Thing?.  Great roadside attraction fun.

So, do you really want me to show you The Thing?

I recommend you go see it for yourself; but if you must see it now, click here.

Go see The Thing?

And don't forget to get some Dairy Queen.